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UAL collaboration and events with Lisbon's Museum of Art Architecture and Technology (maat)

Written by Cat Cooper
Published date 07 October 2020

As we continue to develop our international collaborations and creativity across borders during the pandemic, UAL is pleased to contribute to a public programme of events hosted online by Lisbon’s Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (maat).

Living Systems Lab: a symposium

What can we learn from collaborating with biological organisms as artists and designers? How do we integrate living systems in architecture? How do we adopt complex ecological principles within a creative process? How do biological and technological systems interact and intersect?

Join us on 24 October 2-4.30 pm for a free, online symposium (in English) hosted by maat introducing the work of the Living Systems Lab research group at Central Saint Martins, UAL.

Learn about their diverse creative practices working with mycelium, slime moulds, microorganisms and nano-structures. The researchers will share their innovative processes integrating scientific and artistic protocols. You will also be invited to take part in an online interactive experiment to consider the living systems around you.

The Living Systems Lab researchers are: Professor Carole Collet, Professor in Design for Sustainable Futures; Heather Barnett, artist and Lecturer MA Art and Science, Dr Nancy Diniz, Architect and Course Leader MA Biodesign; Dr Alice Taylor, Bioengineer and Lecturer in Biology and Living Systems and Professor Rob Kesseler, Professor Emeritus of Art, Design and Science.

Work from the Living Systems Laboratory will also be showcased as part of maat ext. (extended) - the museum's new content platform that aggregates, connects and expands the reach of the museum’s activities across the digital sphere.


This event will take place online via Zoom. Please register online via the maat event page.

More about Living Systems Lab

The Living Systems Lab explores the inherent properties of biological living systems to develop new knowledge in the field of ecology via creative practices in art, design and architecture. It is led by a research group dedicated to exploring the inherent properties of living systems to develop new knowledge in the field of ecology via creative practices in art, design, and architecture.

The lab is structured in two strands:

  • the (design) & Living Systems Lab explores bio-informed design research as a disruptive driver for sustainable innovation and regenerative design.
  • The (art) & Living Systems Lab conducts artistic research exploring the interrelationships within complex ecologies and networked systems.
  • Airborne-Ilex_Lambeth_007-.jpg
    Rob Kesseler Airborne: Mapping Pollution. Ilex leaf with fungal spores and mineral elements
  • Alice_Taylor_hNSCs_diamond.png
    Alice Taylor Fluorescently labelled human Neural Stem cells grown on diamond.
  • NancyDiniz_MeanderSeries_II.jpg
    Nancy Diniz Biomaterials: Biocomposite made with varied food waste and natural pigments 2019 bioMATTERS©2018_MeanderSeries_II
  • STRAWBERRY-NOIR,-part-of-the-Biolace-series,-Carole-Collet-2012.jpg
    STRAWBERRY NOIR, part of the Biolace series, Carole Collet 2012
  • The-PhysarumExperimentsStudy019TheMaze_film-still_HeatherBarnett_4.jpg
    Heather Barnett - The Physarum Experiments Study 019 The Maze film-still
  • Pinus-polen.jpg
    Rob Kesseler Airborne: Mapping Pollution. Pinus Pollen

Science is Fiction programme at maat

On Saturday 12 September Professor Sheldon Brown at UAL's Creative Computing Institute presented his talk 'Fiction Science Fiction Science Fiction, streamed on maat’s Youtube channel.

With Artificial Intelligence (AI) comes the reimagining of culture across art, design, and computer science. Designers and artists working with AI face the challenge to integrate it positively into real life, informing ideas around what AI means for our human selves and the profound transformation of our broader social systems. How can we develop an understanding of AI that is accessible and open, moving away from obscure and technical black boxes?

This talk explores the application of AI in art and design while also raising the complex issues of who we are becoming in the process of inventing it.

Fiction Science Fiction Science Fiction: A talk by Sheldon Brown, UAL Creative Computing Institute